In 2009, BBned hired Lunatech to assist with their first JBoss Rules (Drools) implementation. Lunatech provided a technical expert whose task was to ensure the smooth introduction of the open-source JBoss Rules product and to reduce project technical risk. The work included writing technical design documentation, building part of the software, and coaching BBned’s own staff with the new technology.
Lunatech's expert successfully applied JBoss Rules as planned, within the project constraints, and ensured that BBned's initial lack of experience with JBoss Rules did not result in technical problems on the project. In addition, Lunatech performed knowledge transfer to internal staff so that BBned is able to apply the technology on other projects, without being dependent on third-party vendors or consultants.
BBned used JBoss Rules to implement a decision service - a component of a Service-Oriented Architecture that encapsulates the business logic required to make business decisions, and which is called by applications that do not contain this logic themselves. This decision service dynamically validates product configuration options while a customer is preparing an order for network services, which allows BBned to offer a flexible range of services rather than limiting customers to fixed choices.
The JBoss Business Rules Management System is the ideal technology platform for implementing this kind of decision service: it provides a mature implementation of a high-performance rules engine that developers can use to execute business rules written in the Drools Rule Language. For BBned, this means that business requirements are implemented as clearly identifiable independent rules in the decision service, which results in software that is easier to understand, debug and maintain.
Peter Hilton is a senior software developer at Lunatech Research.